WITH THE WORLD Cup drawing to a close last weekend the transfer window is now in full flow and one of Belgium’s aces is hot on the radar of Barcelona.
Jan Vertonghen impressed in Brazil, like he has done during his two-year spell at Tottenham Hotspur, however after Carles Puyol’s retirement last season the Catalan’s are now on the look-out for a new centre-back.
With four years left on his current deal it would take a big offer to prise the former Ajax man away from White Hart Lane and after splashing out £75m on Luis Suarez funds are tight at the Nou Camp.
The 27-year old admitted during last season that he would have to look at his future in the summer if Spurs failed to qualify for the Champions League. At the time Andre Villas-Boas was in charge and Vertonghen was regularly moved to left-back during the Portuguese’s short spell at the club. A position he doesn’t like to play.
Tim Sherwood also used him at left-back towards the end of the season when Danny Rose was injured. However he offered fans hope, back in May, when he said he would be willing to stay after Sherwood was relieved of his duties following a sixth-placed finish.
“I’ve got more years left at Tottenham and I’m happy. I want to stay so it doesn’t matter who the manager will be. The chairman will make a good decision.”
New manager Mauricio Pochettino wants Vertonghen to stay and is expected to build his defence around the Belgian with club captain Michael Dawson expected to depart in the next few weeks with Hull City his likely destination.
Currently on £40,000 a week Spurs are determined to significantly improve Vertonghen’s contract and it is thought that he is interested to finalise a new deal with the club.
This would give Tottenham a major boost going into the season, especially after Hugo Lloris put pen to paper on a new deal last week. And the news of the Frenchman signing on has further persuaded Vertonghen that his future lies in North London.
Spurs have stressed that any bid for their commanding centre-back will not be accepted, unless it is a huge offer. With reports of a £17.5m fee being put together by Barca the door to any potential deal will be slammed shut in the faces of the Spanish sides officials. Especially after David Luiz signed for Paris St Germain for a staggering £50m back in June.
Vertonghen has proved over the past couple of seasons, and during the World Cup, that he is a much better player than the former Chelsea defender and Pochettino is determined to keep hold of him.